Women’s Health Data: Violence against women
Violence against women is experienced by a significant number of women in Australia. Intimate partner violence is the most common type of violence against women. The impact of violence against women is widespread and long-standing, generating profound personal, social and economic costs for individuals, communities and the nation. Specific groups such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and women with disabilities experience a range of additional factors that contribute to their greater risk of violence. Finding support and accessing appropriate services may also be difficult for some groups of women.
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Domestic violence is the leading contributor to death, disability and illness in Victorian women aged between 15 and 44 years1.
In Australia, 34% of women have experienced physical violence since the age of 15, and 19% of women have experienced sexual violence2.
17% of women have experienced violence perpetrated by a partner, compared to 5.3% of men2.
19% of women have experienced an episode of stalking during their lifetime2.
15% of women have been sexually assaulted by a known person and 3.8% of women have been sexually assaulted by a stranger2.
Women are far more likely than men to experience physical assault perpetrated by a male in their home. 62% of women who have been physically assaulted by a male experienced the most recent assault in their home2.
In Victoria, the perpetrator is known to the victim in 65.9% of recorded sexual assault cases3.
89% of reported rape victims are women and girls4.
Domestic violence has significant and often devastating consequences for victims including homicide, homelessness, and poor social, mental and physical health outcomes5.
Most incidents of homicide are domestic homicides involving the death of a family member 6.
Intimate partner homicides represent 60% of the134 domestic homicides in Australia. 78% of the victims are women6.
Domestic or family violence is the main reason Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) clients seek assistance (22% of support periods)7.
Acts of domestic violence can occur at work and can also affect colleagues8.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
One in four women escaping domestic violence are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander9.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women accessing homeless services to escape domestic violence are more likely to have four or more children accompanying them9.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are more likely than non-Aboriginal women to be a victim of violence. 22% of Indigenous women aged 18 years and over have been a victim of physical or threatened violence in the last 12 months10.
Indigenous women are more than two-and-a-half times as likely as non-Indigenous women to be a victim of physical or threatened violenceAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are four times more likely to have diabetes than non-Aboriginal women10.
Indigenous women are 35 times more likely to be hospitalised due to family violence-related assaults than other Australian women11.
Indigenous women are overrepresented as victims of rape12.
Women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds
1% of Australian women born overseas have experienced partner violence13.
Immigrant women are more vulnerable to workplace violence because they are over-represented in low paid, low status occupations, where they may be unfamiliar with their rights and may also face a language barrier14
Most violence reported by immigrant women is perpetrated by a manager or supervisor and often occurs in open environments of discrimination14.
Women with disabilities
Australian data is limited, but overseas research has found that 40% of women with disabilities have experienced intimate partner violence15.
Community understanding of violence against women with disabilities is very poor. Few people recognise the greater vulnerability of women with disabilities to violence16.
Same-sex attracted women
- 53% of young same-sex attracted young women have experienced verbal abuse17.
- Homophobic abuse is associated with feeling unsafe, excessive drug use, self-harm and suicide in same-sex attracted young people17.
- Same-sex attracted women report regular workplace harassment and discrimination because of their sexuality16.
- Between 2002 and 2008, the proportion of young women who experienced unwanted sex increased from 28% to 38%18.
- 13% of women aged 18 to 24 years have experienced violence in the last twelve months2.
- Young women remain the most highly victimised group in the Victorian community and they continue to be most at risk from young men in their peer group12.
- Young women were more likely to be involved in reported rape cases that were classified as ‘No Further Police Action’ and were least likely to be believed by police12.
- VicHealth. The health costs of violence: measuring the burden of disease caused by domestic violence; 2004 [cited 4 September 2013] Available from: http://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/en/Publications/Freedom-from-violence/The-Health-Costs-of-Violence.aspx ↩
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2012, Personal safety, Australia. Cat. No. 4906.0; 2013 [cited 24 January 2013] Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4906.0 ↩
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. Recorded crime - victims, Australia, 2009. Cat. No. 4510.0; 2010 [cited 5 November 2013] Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/4510.02009?OpenDocument ↩
- Victoria Police. Crime statistics 2012/2013 [cited 21 Feruary 2014] Available from: http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?a=internetBridgingPage&Media_ID=72176 ↩
- Marcus G, Braaf R. Domestic and family violence studies, surveys and statistics: pointers to policy and practice. Sydney: Australian Family and Domestic Violence Clearinghouse; 2007 [cited 5 November 2013] Available from: http://www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au/PDF%20files/Stakeholderpaper_1.pdf ↩
- Virueda M & Payne J. Homicide in Australia: 2007–08 National Homicide Monitoring Program annual report. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology. 2010 [cited 5 November 2013] Available from: http://aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/mr/1-20/13.html ↩
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Government-funded specialist homelessness services: SAAP national data collection annual report 2008-09. Cat. No. HOU 219; 2010 [cited 5 November 2013] Available from: http://www.aihw.gov.au/publications/hou/219/11235.pdf ↩
- ACCESS Economics. The cost of domestic violence to the Australian economy. Canberra: Australian Government, Office of the Status of Women; 2004 [cited 25 October 2013] Available from: http://www.dss.gov.au/our-responsibilities/women/publications-articles/reducing-violence/the-cost-of-domestic-violence-to-the-australian-economy ↩
- Homelessness Australia, Homelessness and Women.2012 [cited 4 September 2013] Available from: http://www.homelessnessaustralia.org.au/index.php/about-homelessness/fact-sheets ↩
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. The health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women: A snapshot, 2004-05. Cat. No. 4722.0.55.001; 2007 [cited 4 September 2013] Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4722.0.55.001Main+Features12004-05?OpenDocument ↩
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: Al-Yaman F, Van Doeland M & Wallis M 2006. Family violence among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Cat. no. IHW 17. Canberra: AIHW [cited 5 November 2013] Available from: http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=6442467912&tab=3 ↩
- Department for Victorian Communities. Study of Reported Rapes in Victoria 2000-2003: Summary research report. Office of Women’s Policy. Melbourne. 2006 [cited 5 November 2013] Available from: http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/about-the-department/documents-and-resources/reports-publications/study-of-reported-rapes-in-victoria-2000-2003 ↩
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian social trends, 2007: Women’s experience of partner violence. Cat. No. 4102.0. 2007; [cited 5 November 2013] Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/0/ADE8C301B6BA85ABCA25732C00207E92?opendocument ↩
- URCOT. Safe at Work? Women’s experience of violence in the workplace: Summary report of research. Office of Women’s Policy: Melbourne. 2005 [cited 5 November 2013] Available from: http://www.urcot.org.au/sites/default/files/From%20OWP%20website%2011%20Oct%20SafeatWorkPDF.pdf ↩
- Brownridge DA. Partner violence against women with disabilities: prevalence, risk and explanations. Violence Against Women. 2006; 12(9): 805-822. ↩
- Victorian Health Promotion Foundation. National survey on community attitudes to violence against women 2009: changing cultures, changing attitudes: Preventing violence against women; 2010 [cited 5 November 2013] Available from: http://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/Publications/Freedom-from-violence/National-Community-Attitudes-towards-Violence-Against-Women-Survey-2009.aspx ↩
- Hillier L., Jones T., Monagle M., Overton N., Gahan L., Blackman J. & Mitchell A. Writing themselves in 3: the third national study on the sexual health and wellbeing of same sex attracted and gender questioning young people. Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society: La Trobe University; 2010 [cited 17 December 2010] Available from: http://www.glhv.org.au/node/657 ↩
- Smith A, Agius P, Mitchell A, Barrett C & Pitts M. Secondary students and sexual health 2008: Results of the 4th national survey of Australian secondary students, HIV/AIDS and sexual health; 2009 [cited 4 September 2013] Available from: http://www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs/publications?queries_subject_query=Young+people ↩
Published: February 2014
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